Top 7 Best Gifts for New Parents to Consider

A new baby in the family is a cause for celebration. Finding the right gift for new parents is a good way to help the new family get off to a good start. Understanding the needs of both the parents and the baby is a good way to find the ideal gift that will bring them joy and delight.

1. Practical Gifts

selection of perambulators displayed in a park

Babies need a lot of gear when they are born. Car seats, strollers, high chairs, and bassinets all make great gifts for new parents. Babies grow quickly in the first year of life, so parents will constantly replace their gear to get new things.

Therefore, when purchasing gear for a new baby, find gear that is convertible and can be used for both infants and toddlers. Bassinets are adorable, but most babies grow out of them within the first few months. A convertible crib, however, can last for several years.

You can buy car seats for infants, but when the baby is about a year old, parents will have to replace it with a larger seat. Consider buying a convertible car seat which the child can use until he or she is either about four years old or 40 pounds.

High chairs make great gifts for new parents. Babies need high chairs from the time they can sit up unassisted until they are about two-years-old. A high chair is a low-cost investment that will bring the parents years of dining enjoyment with their baby.

Portable play yards also make excellent gifts for new parents. These foldable cribs allow parents to take along a sleeping and playing surface for the baby, no matter where they go. They are easy to fold and carry, and you can find them at any baby supply retailer for less than $150. Also called “pack and plays,” these portable cribs can be left at relatives homes for sleepovers. Babies typically use these cribs until they are old enough to climb out of them, at around two years old.

2. Clothing Gifts

pink clothes for baby girl with pair of booties with cute owl design

It’s fun to shop for cute baby clothes, and new parents are often bombarded with them. If you want to give the parents clothing gifts, there are a few things to remember. Newborns often stay home most of the time, so fancy outfits are cute but often impractical. Onesies, hats, scratch mittens, and socks are great gifts for newborns.

If you want to buy outfits for the new baby, consider the season when the baby will be born. If the baby is born in July, for example, consider buying fall outfits in 3-6 month size. For winter babies, buy spring and summer outfits in larger sizes.

Don’t forget outerwear when shopping for baby clothes. Many new parents are thrilled to receive tiny little outfits and cute hats, but few receive much-needed coats, hats, and other cold-weather gear. If your new parents live in a cold climate, consider giving gifts of outerwear that they can use to keep the newborn warm.

3. Daily Care Gifts

The best gifts for new parents are those that they will repeatedly use for months or years. Diapers, bathing supplies, bottles, wipes, and bibs all make great gifts. Newborns go through about 10-12 diapers a day in the first few months, so the new parents will be buying plenty of diapers each week. A few boxes or a monthly shipment of diapers will go a long way in providing for the new parents.

Babies also use a lot of bottles. Even breastfed babies use bottles from time to time, so you can’t go wrong with bottles. You can buy them in a variety of sizes, from small bottles for newborns to larger bottles for toddlers. New parents often lose bottles, so helping them keep a steady stock is always welcome.

Other gifts like baby wash, bathtubs, towels, burp cloths, and bibs are great gifts for new parents.

4. Sentimental Gifts

baby professional photoshoot in a bird crib

If there is one thing that new parents like to do it’s preserve memories of their little one’s first years of life. Hand-print kits, picture frames, first tooth boxes, and custom knit blankets are excellent sentimental gifts for new parents. Consider giving the new parents an engraved photo frame with the baby’s name and date of birth. Bronzed baby shoes are a classic, vintage gift. Thus, if you’re willing to wait a year, offer to have their baby’s shoes encased in bronze.

Home decor gifts are excellent ways to treat new parents. Consider buying decorative letters for the baby’s nursery, curtains for the nursery windows or a comfy rug for the floor. A tiny lamp, decorative mobile or wall hanging will make a thoughtful gift.

5. Service Gifts

ceramic figurine representing baby sitter holding baby and games

New parents are often exhausted and overwhelmed with parenting duties. Offer to give them a night off and sit with the baby while they go out for a nice dinner. You can also pay for a private photography session for the new family so that they can have a lifetime of memories.

You can also treat them to a gift card for dinner and a movie, or offer them a couple of massage sessions. Bringing food to their home right after the baby is born is another great service gift that you can give to the new parents.

6. Financial Gifts

Some of the longest lasting gifts for new parents are stocks, bonds, and investment accounts. These gifts can become valuable over the years, giving the parents a gift that will continue to support the child through his teen and adult years.

You can buy some shares of stock and have it presented to the parents in a custom made frame, complete with the baby’s name. Other family members buy life insurance policies or enroll the new baby in a college savings plan.

7. Toys

baby hand reaching for toy

What childhood is complete without toys and books? Infants like soft toys like stuffed animals, while toddlers prefer toys that they can manipulate like blocks, colorful balls, and toy keys. Books are always a thoughtful gift and are a great way to start baby’s first library.

Conclusion

When it comes to finding the best gifts for new parents, there are many great options. Find the right one today.

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DIY Baby Mobile – How to Make a Baby Mobile by Yourself

When you have a baby, it is just natural to want to give the tiny one everything they could possibly need. Even though they are not considered to be essential items, toys and ornaments are definitely a great way to show the baby love while teaching them basic abilities such as recognizing shapes and colors. Among the most popular of such items are baby mobiles for cribs. In this article, you will learn the steps of a DIY baby mobile.

However, the kind of mobiles that are sold in stores can be expensive and impersonal. For that reason, the present guide will show you how to build a DIY baby mobile from scratch. A fun and interesting baby mobile will captivate your little one and it makes a great nursery decor item.

a simple round-shaped baby mobile with the globe in its center

Step 1. Gathering Supplies

Apart from being simple to make, this type of DIY baby mobile uses very few materials. In order to create it, you will only need colored paper or card stock of five different colors, yarn or thread, an embroidery hoop and hot glue. If you are looking for extra security, you may use a sewing machine instead of glue to attach the parts of the baby crib mobile.

Step 2. Cutting Out Paper Shapes

Simple cut out between 15 and 20 shapes out of the colored papers. Of course, you can cut any shape you want your DIY baby mobile to have. However, it’s advisable to go for the most basic shapes (circles, squares, triangles and so on). This serves two functions.

On one side, simple shapes are easier for babies to understand and enjoy. On the other, basic geometric shapes are easier to cut out, making the job simpler for you. Cut the shapes as follows:

  • Color #1: 22 shapes of (approximately) 2 inches.
  • Color #2: 7 shapes of (approximately) 2 inches. 11 shapes of (approximately) 1.6 inches.
  • Color #3: 19 shapes of (approximately) 1.6 inches.
  • Color #4: 11 shapes of (approximately) 1.6 inches. 9 shapes of (approximately) 1.4 inches.
  • Color #5: 22 shapes of (approximately) 1.3 inches.

Step 3. Positioning the Shapes

After laying them on a table, spread the shapes around spaciously. Once that is done, use the shapes to form the 11 columns that will comprise the DIY baby mobile. Make sure there is at least one inch of space between shapes (both vertically and horizontally).

Keep in mind that the shapes do not have to be horizontally aligned with each other. Do not worry about the columns not have an even length as that makes for a more dynamic and fun design.

Have fun placing the shapes of different colors to make an aesthetically appealing, fun and warm design. Even though it may be tempting to organize the position of the shapes by color or size, try to distribute them in a seemingly random way.

a beautiful handmade air balloons baby mobile colored in blue and pink

Step 4. Attaching Yarn or Thread to the Circles

Once you are happy with the distribution of the shapes, it’s time to continue constructing your DIY baby mobile by attaching the yarn to the shapes. Often, people that want to know how to make a baby mobile complicate themselves by trying to poke holes in the shapes.

However, the simplest way is to draw a vertical line through the middle of each shape. Immediately after, place the yarn over all the shapes in one column. Finally, cut the yarn leaving 2 inches on one end and nothing on the other. Repeat that process for all the remaining 10 columns.

Step 5. Painting the Embroidery Hoop

Before going any further, it’s important to point out that the embroidery hoop should be made of a material that is resistant and capable of holding the paint. With that in mind, getting a wooden embroidery hoop is always a good idea.

Even though you can use any color you want to paint it, try to use one that is similar to any of the colors of the shapes to create uniformity. Before moving on to the next step making your DIY baby mobile, let the hoop dry for a good 15 minutes.

a beautiful clouds, moon, and stars baby mobile

Step 6. Attaching the Yarn to the Hoop

Once the embroidery hoop has dried completely, it’s time to attach the yarn or thread to it. Before tying any knots, make sure to measure and mark the distance that there will be between the threads, making sure it’s somewhat uniform. However, do not complicate yourself by trying to be too precise as small differences will not be noticeable at all.

In order to guarantee that your DIY baby mobile won’t fall apart at any point, make sure all the threads are tied securely and firmly. You can use any type of knot as long as it’s tight and doesn’t stand out too much.

Step 7. Hanging the mobile

The final step in your quest to make your own baby mobile is hanging it over your baby’s crib. In order to create something to hang it from, take two pieces of thread and cut them to about three feet long. Tie the end of one thread to the hoop. Then, take the other end of the same thread and tie it to the exact opposite side across the hoop.

After that, tie the second piece of thread to the hoop, precisely between the two ends of the thread you already tied. Finally, tie the free end of the second thread to the opposite side of the hoop. Again, make sure it’s tied precisely across the first end. As a result, you will have an x-shaped hanger that’s perfect for your DIY baby mobile.

Summing It Up

Having read through this entire piece, you are probably glad to realize it’s easy and fun to make your own DIY baby mobile. Besides the pride and satisfaction, making it will save you money and bring you closer to your little one.

By simply following these seven steps, you will create a unique object that will be stared at by your baby for hours at a time. Do you have your own technique to make a DIY baby mobile? If so, let us know in the comments!

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6 Tips on Giving an Allowance for Kids & How to Avoid Any Problems

There is absolutely no doubt that raising a child is hard work. Among the most important things to give your kid, providing lessons about handling and managing money is at the top of the list. One of the most crucial points regarding the financial education of children is setting up an allowance for them. Even though having an allowance for kids is mostly a good idea, there are problems that can appear as a result.

With that in mind, the present guide will shed light over some of these problems. Additionally, it will provide valuable tips on how to do it in a way that is satisfactory for all parties involved.

a small pink piggy bank placed on a large pile of dollar bills

6 Tips for Giving Kids an Allowance

1. Make a Plan

Before anything else, it’s highly important to make a plan that rounds up every aspect of the allowance-giving process. This includes the amount, the frequency of the payments and the conditions that have to be met by the child in order to get a payment.

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to be clear regarding the kind of things that the child can buy with their newly-earned money.

2. Have a Sit Down

Once you have figured out all the details, make sure to have a conversation with the child explaining every aspect of the plan. Describe all the rules thoroughly and clearly while making sure to emphasize what the consequences will be if they are broken.

To avoid future problems due to miscommunication, provide a list of the things the child can buy with this money. Simultaneously, be sure to give your child another list detailing everything they can’t buy using their allowance money (for example, fireworks, candy or video games).

3. Use it as a Learning Tool

One of the most important reasons for having an allowance for kids is that it can be a great learning tool. Apart from valuable financial lessons, an allowance can teach kids about responsibility, common sense, self-reliance, organization, delayed gratification, and socialization in general.

Make sure to be firm in terms of enforcing your own rules. Of course, kids being kids, at some point they will make mistakes. Still, mistakes are an important part of the learning process, particularly when you are there to explain what went wrong and how to avoid it happening again.

4. Teach Spending, Sharing and Saving

Most experts that recommend setting up an allowance for kids agree that it’s a great opportunity for teaching them not to spend everything they have. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to have kids buy into the concept of spending only a part of their weekly allowance.

The part that is not spent can be saved in a piggy bank or shared with others, especially those who do not have the luck of getting an allowance.

a simple table with several chores for kids to receive allowance

5. What About Chores?

One of the most divisive questions regarding having an allowance for kids is whether they should work for it or not. Without a doubt, withholding the allowance whenever the child refuses to do chores will teach a lesson.

However, the impact of other important lessons that can be taught through having an allowance will be diminished. There is no easy solution to this conundrum. However, whatever you decide should depend on the kind of lesson you think is more important for your child to learn.

6. Consider a Bank Account

Besides teaching about basic concepts regarding finances and life in general, having an allowance for kids can be the first step in providing lessons about fiscal responsibility. Once your child reaches a certain age (around middle school) it can be a good idea to get them a bank account.

Having a bank account is guaranteed to teach your children lessons about investing, earning interest, balancing a checkbook, and creating a fiscal budget. Still, it’s important to make yourself the custodian of that account, eliminating the possibility of deception and early-life financial problems.

How to Avoid Problems When It Comes to Having an Allowance for Kids

There is no doubt that kids need to learn how to manage their money. By having and managing their own money, they learn important concepts such as saving, planning, setting up goals, and delaying gratification. Additionally, having a small amount of money each week allows kids to make low-risk mistakes and to learn from them.

several transparent jars for kids' allowance

1: Begin This Process When the Time Is Right

Having an allowance for kids is definitely a good idea. Nevertheless, it should be done correctly in order to function to the advantage of your family. One of the main things to consider is when to begin having an allowance for kids. Many families start when their kids are five or six years old.

Others like to wait until the children are older than nine or ten. However, psychologists agree that the best time to start giving your children an allowance is whenever they begin to comprehend the concept of money.

2: Provide the Right Amount of Money

Another important thing to take into account when considering an allowance for kids is the amount. Without a doubt, it is a figure that will depend on factors such as your income and the area you live in. However, it’s also important to have a balance.

For obvious reasons, you definitely do not want it to be too little. However, giving a child too much money can be dangerous as it will send the wrong message and paint an inaccurate picture of how life works.

Summing It Up

In conclusion, having an allowance for kids is considered by most experts to be a positive thing. However, it is something that needs to be properly if you want to achieve good results and a positive outcome. It’s important not to lose sight of the main goal: teaching kids how to be financially responsible.

By following a few basic rules, you can reward your little ones while providing them with valuable lessons that will last a lifetime. Do you have any tips of your own regarding having an allowance for kids? Let us know in the comments!

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Advice for New Parents – 12 Useful Things They Should Know

Being a new parent is an exciting journey that requires a lot of patience and learning. Advice for new parents is readily available. Still, you probably don’t want to hear that particular advice for new parents coming from a stranger on the street for the thousandth time.

These tried-and-true tips are useful and come from people who were once new parents themselves. If it doesn’t work for you, just move on to the next thing that will.

*The following tips were listed in particular order.

two young parents smiling and looking at their baby

1: Don’t Buy into Fads

Fads happen in the parenting world. Advice for new parents include trends like only outfitting your baby in all-organic clothing, making a purely homemade diet, early reading programs that start entirely too young and more.

These fads often require you spend a ton of money up-front, and they are not proven to be any more useful than conventional ideas about parenting. If it sounds like a trend, it probably is. Don’t waste your time.

2: Let Your Values Guide You

It’s okay to let your values about parenting guide your parenting choices, but don’t feel like a horrible parent for having to give up some of those values for the sake of practicality and reality. If you breastfeed your baby, don’t feel ashamed if you need to use formula at some point or pump.

If you use cloth diapers, don’t think you are lazy for needing an occasional disposable diaper. Most of all, it’s okay to let your child watch television. It does not make you a lazy parent.

3: Don’t Be Afraid to Tell People to Shut Up

You will get plenty of unsolicited advice from parents, family members, friends and random people. Don’t be afraid to tell them to stop giving you unsolicited advice. Telling them to shut up may not be the best choice of words, but you may need to be firm and clear when you say to them to stop telling you how to raise your child.

two moms with their babies in babywearing having tea together

4: Babywearing Isn’t as Carefree as It Looks

Babywearing isn’t as easy and carefree as advertisements make it look, but it is a great option for traveling and going outdoors. A sturdy wrap or harness that fits your body well is priceless. Invest in one that can convert easily if you choose this route of carrying your child.

5: Babywearing Is Similar to Tummy Time

While babywearing isn’t as easy as it looks, it does work the same muscles in your baby’s body the way tummy-time exercises do. It strengthens the neck muscles and other muscles that help a baby learn to support themselves.

6: It Is Okay Not to Love Every Minute

Parents get the idea from society and culture that you have to love every minute of being a new parent. In reality, you will not love every minute, and that is okay. You should embrace the wonderful moments, but let yourself have a break during the moments in which it is less-than desirable.

7: Post-Partum Depression Happens

This is a topic that is often silenced in parenting groups and mainstream magazines or blogs. Post-partum depression is real, and it happens to mothers with the best intentions sometimes. If you need help, do not be afraid to ask for it. There are options for mothers who feel this way, and it saves lives. This should be standard encouragement and advice for all new parents to remember.

8: You Can Travel as a New Parent

If you have ever flown, you have probably seen new parents on a flight feeling overwhelmed and tired. Nowadays, international flights have infants more commonly than ever before. It is possible to travel as a new parent, and you do not have to give this up when you become one. It requires extra planning, but don’t listen to people who say you are doomed to a life at home for five years. You are not.

a small baby holding a jar of baby food trying to taste the food inside the container

9: Some Baby Foods Are a Scam

Baby foods and toddler foods are often lacking in nutrition. This isn’t to say that canned baby food is a problem, but cereals before six months are not recommended. Toddler snacks are often loaded with salt and extra sugars.

Use formula or breast milk until at least six months, and then introduce and feed healthful whole foods slowly. The best feeding advice for new parents is to simply feed your baby foods closest to their natural state, and puff crisps are not natural.

10: Pumping and Dumping Is a Myth

This is especially important if you are breastfeeding. New moms often think they cannot have alcohol if they are breastfeeding, but you can have one drink. Even if you have a couple of drinks, it isn’t enough to harm your baby. Advice for new parents will often tell moms to pump and dump their breast milk, but this is a myth. You can still drink wine and breastfeed simultaneously, as long as you don’t abuse alcohol.

11: You Can Go Back to Work

There’s pressure on new parents to take a long maternity or paternity leave, but don’t be ashamed if you need to or want to go back to work as soon as possible. Advice for new parents often encourages being with the new baby all the time, but that isn’t always possible. It is okay for you to want to have a fulfilling career life or to need that income.

12: Exclusively Breastfed Babies Rarely Get Constipated

If your child does get constipated while being exclusively breast fed, don’t worry. Some advice for new parents may have you freaking out if your child becomes constipated, but it’s normal. A baby between two and three months can go up to two weeks without pooping, and that is fine.

Bottom Line

The best advice for new parents is to simply let yourselves breathe, and when the baby sleeps, you sleep. You will be exhausted. Focus on taking care of yourself when you can so that you are ready for your baby during meal times, diaper changes and everything else in life.

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